Saturday, February 28, 2009

An interesting blog

Hi all,
I follow a bunch of blogs, I have found it to be very addictive and very informative, and came across this posting in one of my favorite bloggers:
Painfull parenting....when you don't 'feel' love for a child.

We face many times when we are asked if we met our children before we adopted them, and what if we decided we didn't like them. It is a question that makes sense and yet doesn't. I get what people are asking. I really do. But, I never met my bio kids before I birthed them and no, I don't always like them. I ALWAYS love them, but I don't always like what we are struggling through, or one has a habit that particularly annoys me some times. Anyway, you get my point. It is the same with our adopted children. God put them in our family. We truly believe that God orchestrated the constellation of our family. And if He did that, well, then, who really cares if I like them. Now, to tell you the truth, I do like them, every last child in my home. Not every minute of every day. Not tonight when two of my sons (I will leave it to you to guess which two - the advantage of having more than two, they get some anonymity) were discovered to be spraying silly string in their bedroom. Did you know that a mother's hearing can correctly identify the sound of spraying silly string from one floor below, even though she had forgotten that there was even any in the house? You have to understand, we have a rule about silly string. It is not allowed to be sprayed in the house. I am not a clean freak, not even close (but for heaven's sake, the house was just absolutely spotless for the homestudy adoption agency to visit us today - let it last more than five hours!!!), but one rule I stick by is that silly string is an outside toy. I have visions of cats, dogs, guinea pigs and siblings covered in the crazy stuff. No thank you, it is easier to clean up outside, thank you very much. A great outside toy, definitely not an inside toy. So, needless to say, Mom was not thrilled with two of her sons. Now, on a positive note, they seem to have learned that honesty goes a long way towards appeasing Mom in any situation - score one! But, ugh. So, I guess Mom is off dish duty for the week - I had better cook a ton and take advantage of it, and my floors will be washed one room at a time for the week. But, there was no yelling, no upset, just stern discussion about the rules (which were known and repeated to us - guess boys just didn't figure in supersonic "mom" hearing) and then some consequences for bad choices (still they maintain that this isn't how the nice brown curtain got silly string on it, but we all know better than that).

So, no, we don't have to like our children all the time, no matter how they came to us. But regardless of how we like them, we always love them. Love is unconditional and it is a verb. No one ever said you had to feel like it! Maybe that is something we are missing in our culture's relationship with love. It is based on feelings rather than doing. How I feel about things is quite often simply irrelevant. What I do is never irrelevant. And many times it is simply a conscious choice.

So, as we prepare to add two more boys to our family constellation, it is good to be reminded that this is a choice. Love is a choice. Because God first loved us, we must love others. Doesn't mean we have to like them. It does mean we have to act on it. I wonder how I will feel about these boys? Right now I have to admit that at times I am scared to death, but what prospective parent isn't, whether through birth or adoption? And I know that this too will pass. I will get to know these wonderful children, children that God made, and is seeing fit to place within our family. What an honor that He would entrust them to us. I hope I can live up to it, but I know that I can do nothing without Him. With Him, I can do anything He has called me to!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Praising

Hi all, again,
Just in case any of my friends who follow this remember that my brother lives in Clarence, New York, and you now are hearing the news of the plane crash there - my brother and his family are all fine. The plane crashed about three miles from their house, they heard the boom. Waking up to the news this morning was a bit of a shock, but we are thankful for the internet, so we could search out, find out where exactly it happened, and then google it to find out how far it was from their house. I did text him to just call our mom so she could be relieved. We did hear from him briefly and they are fine. I woke Mom up, just to let her know that we already knew that it was not their house - thought she might have turned the news on already.

So, today we are praying for those who died, and thankful that our family members were spared. Spooky way to wake up! Again, a reminder of what is really important, and that each day is a blessing and not a guarantee.
Love to you all!
Christy

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A favor please?

Hi all,
While I am trapped here with reams of paper coming out of my stupid printer - it is stupid, it can't totally spit the page out and then jams with the next one unless a human pulls the first out (anyway) - I would like to beg a favor.

Could you pray for us? Pray for release from fear as we look at all that is ahead of us? I think I can finally spill the beans, all those who needed to hear it directly from us (and might follow this little blog) have been told, so here it goes. We are in process to adopt again. And to adopt two boys (again). One of whom is diabetic like our wonderful 11 year old daughter. Two brothers, one 13 and one 9. Same age as our adopted sons who have been home a year and a half. I am a little overwhelmed at the thought of being mom to five boys - it was a huge change for me to go from one boy and two girls to three boys! I have learned a lot from other moms who have more than one boy at home. Boys are different and when you get a bunch together, well, it is louder and busier. I know that God has prepared us for all of this, I know that his hand is in this.

We weren't looking to go to Ethiopia again, or even overseas. We were considering more than one child, and we have been hoping to adopt a child with special needs. We have long said that a child with diabetes would definitely be something we could handle, not really a change in our life as we already are handling the issues already. These boys' information came through a friend, how she got it I am not totally sure. They have been waiting for more than a year, because of the age and the disability (I hate to call it that, but many folks view it as such). Hope was becoming lost that they would ever find a family. We initially said no, because our life was a bit intense when we first heard about them (foster child returned and left again - too much to handle for that week). And then we were contacted again about them. And this time we were able to really look at things. And we said yes.

To tell you the truth, I am worried about the funds again. I don't want to fundraise, I don't want to ask anyone if they want to be part of this. Others did so much last time, and we were so blessed. I am so grateful, and perhaps it is pride, but I cannot ask again. I just can't. We are working as much extra as we can, selling what we can, totally cutting our spending, all of that. Once the homestudy is done we can apply for grants, and might get one or two. I don't know. I know that we can do this, or rather, I know that God can do this. It is just scary to look at those numbers again. Ugh. Not to mention the stacks of paperwork - it was easier last time when we didn't know what to expect.

So, you are reading my pity party as I need to vent before I get back up and get it all done. I am so grateful for all that we CAN do. But it always feels like there is such a time pressure with these things. I know that there isn't the time pressure it looks like, but it always feels like it. We know that the faster we get this done the faster we can get these boys home and get A into good medical care. Sadly in Ethiopia, the way they manage diabetes is poor. Very much like how we used to manage it here forty years ago, when complications were so very common. For a child this is huge. The photos we see are of a very thin boy, who obviously isn't getting enough food or insulin. As the parent of a diabetic child, I know how crucial all of this is. Our doctor has reviewed the little bit of medical info we have and is prepared to start treatment as soon as we get home, and is urging us to rush things. It scares me not to be able to get this child this care each day. I know what poorly managed diabetes can do to his body, short and long term.

So, what I am asking, is could you please pray? Pray for our peace of mind, for the health of both boys, but especially for A? Could you please pray that God bless all of our efforts as we move forward? That God guide us to be good stewards, to be efficient, to look for whatever we can do to move things forward. It is so strange in such a time of economic unrest to look to give out this much money, when in our minds we want to just hold onto it all "just in case". God has blessed us so much, and we are so grateful, and we so hope to pass this on to these boys also. Please pray that we don't get overwhelmed with the worry of all the unknowns? It is a lot to imagine that we will have the following age range in our house: 14, 13, 13, 11, 9, 9, and 9. It literally blows my mind. On the other hand, we know that we can do it, and we know that we can do it through the strength of Christ. Not on our own. But as we watch the blessing of our children, we know that these boys will be blessed. Our children at home are so excited, so behind this. In fact, they led the way, while the adults were still trying to wrap their minds around it. Christ asked us to all be like little children. To have faith like the children. Our kids have no doubts in their minds that Mom and Dad can make this happen. And we remind them that this battle is the Lord's. But we sure take advantage of every opportunity he opens for us!!!

So, what I really am asking for is prayers - for preparation for the boys' hearts, for them to be ready for a family, for their minds and souls as they go through such a huge change in their young lives. Prayers for A's health, that God miraculously sustain his body, that we can get him to good medical care as fast as humanly possible. Prayers that we look up, not look to fear. That we remember of all the miracles we have already seen in the last few years. Prayers for strength (and no need for sleep) as we rush paperwork for the agencies involved, for grant agencies, for immigration, for all that needs to be done. We know what the race entails. We even asked our oldest adopted son (Zeri) if he thought it was worth it - we know that it was hard for him - to come, to leave Ethiopia, to learn English, all the changes. He wholeheartedly insists that it is worth it, yes, it is hard, but it is worth it and he would do it all again knowingly. That to me is the voice of experience. I know that for A, this adoption could literally mean life and death. If something were to happen, if the orphanage were unable to keep them (which does happen), that without that insulin he would be dead very quickly. I keep telling myself that this thinking is melodramatic, but I also know it is true. Just like Kiley would rapidly die without insulin. Diabetes is manageable. It is disease that can be readily lived with. But not without insulin. Okay, see what I mean, negative thoughts. Please just pray that I can keep my mind off of these things.

If anyone has any other ideas, we would love to hear them. In the meantime, hooray for craigslist and other things like that as we scour the house for anything unneeded - amazing how much of that there is!!!! I am putting in all the hours that I can, but with three kids with parts in the children's theatre as well as normal life, that is making things a bit crazy.

Also, please can you pray for my Grandma Jean? She has entered hospice and we are all taking all the time we can with her. She is such a wonderful lady at 95, and I am so grateful for having her in my life. We are all comforted knowing that we know where she will be, that we will see her in heaven, but this is still a hard process. We are praying for her comfort and peace, and for her to know how much she is loved and the wonderful blessing she has been for all of us for all of these years. Working in long term care, I probably know more than I want to. We are praying for her peace and comfort.

Thanks for reading this, I hope to start adding more funny posts soon!

I will get some photos of our newest goat baby - hooray for spring! We are anticipating a busy kidding season and to be back in milk again!!! And the chickens are finally laying again! The egg production is now feeding us, and slowly increasing! The break of warm weather was wonderful and we all feel rejuvinated!
Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Take a look at this Youtube video - got me thinking

Hi,
I know that there are many households like ours, where getting the kids and ourselves organized and out the door takes some serious manpower. Around here, not only are we getting up and dressed appropriately, fed and out, but we are also making sure that our livestock and pets are fed and watered so they will be content until we return. We are working on getting it down to a science, but there are some days... Some days there is a lot of frustration involved, and we are usually under a significant time crunch as we have to be out the door extra early to get our singer/s to church on time for sound check, our guys on the camera team to their spots at church earlier, and generally getting some of us going who really hate early mornings (that includes me!). We have really been working on using kindness as we do this and don't want to just have a "church face" that we present for others, but not each other at home. Hard. And then I saw this video today. Convicted. Ugh.